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Edmond de Goncourt


The Night-Watch at Amsterdam is magnificent in parts, but on the side to the spectator's right, smoky and dim. The Five Masters of the Drapers is wonderful for depth, strength, brightness, massive power. What words are these to express a picture!



Raphael seemed to have attained perfection in the Virgin with the Fish; however, four or five years later, he was to rise infinitely higher and display something superior to art and inaccessible to science.

It was in 1518 that the Benedictines of the monastery of St. Sixtus ordered this picture. They had required that the Virgin and the Infant Jesus should be in the company of St. Sixtus and St. Barbara. This is how Raphael entered into their views.

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